Things that stood out in Sunday’s preseason game between the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears.
PLAYING TIME: In the third preseason contest, head coach Mike Mularkey chose to keep most of the Titans starters in the game for considerably longer than he did in either of the first two weeks of the preseason. The defensive starters played into the second quarter—and in several cases into the third quarter. Most of the offensive starters, excluding running back DeMarco Murray and tight end Delanie Walker, played through the third quarter, finishing with a touchdown on the first play of the fourth stanza.
MARIOTA COMPLETES DAY WITH TD PASS: Quarterback Marcus Mariota saw his most extensive action of the preseason through three games, finishing with a touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 193 yards, including his three-yard touchdown pass to running back Derrick Henry. His passer rating was 103.9. He also rushed twice for 12 yards. Mariota was on the field for two series in each of the first two preseason contests.TITANS CONVERT THIRD-AND-31: With six minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Titans faced a third-and-31 after a penalty and a sack. Marcus Mariota completed a pass to rookie wide receiver Taywan Taylor short of the line to gain, but Taylor stayed on his feet and turned it into a 48-yard pickup for a first down. The catch was the second of the preseason in which Taylor, a third-round pick, gained at least 42 yards.
TAYLOR INVOLVED IN RUSHING GAME TOO: Wide receiver Taywan Taylor was heavily featured in the offensive game plan against the Bears. In addition to his one reception for 48 yards, he had three rushing attempts for 12 yards.
EARLY FOURTH DOWN: Early in the fourth quarter, the Titans faced a fourth-and-one from their own 34-yard line. They got the first down with a three-yard carry by DeMarco Murray, keeping the fourth-down momentum from their previous outing. They converted all three of their attempts on fourth down against Carolina in Week 2 of the preseason.
OFFENSE CAPS DAY WITH LONG DRIVE: With Marcus Mariota and several members of the starting offense playing through the third quarter, the offense capped a previously scoreless day with a long drive. On a possession that began at their own 10-yard line, they moved the ball 90 yards on 11 plays and used five and a half minutes to do so. On the first play of the fourth quarter, they scored on a three-yard pitch from Marcus Mariotato Derrick Henry.
MURRAY STARTS: Running back DeMarco Murray made his first appearance of the preseason after missing the first two weeks. He started the game and carried six times for 16 yards.
HENRY SCORES: Derrick Henry capped his afternoon with a three-yard touchdown reception on a pitch from Marcus Mariota. The second-year running back led the team with 24 rushing yards on nine carries and added three total catches for 29 yards, including a 26-yard reception.BIG PLAYS IN THE PASSING GAME: The Titans had six players accumulate seven total receptions of at least 20 yards. Wide receiver Taywan Taylor (48 yards), Delanie Walker (27 yards), Derrick Henry (26 yards), Rishard Matthews (26 and 23 yards), wide receiver Darius Jennings (23 yards) and running back David Fluellen (26 yards) all contributed to the total.
MARZ GETS EARLY ACTION: When starting left guard Quinton Spain was ejected from the game in the second quarter, first-year lineman Tyler Marz entered the game in Spain’s place. Marz, an undrafted rookie in 2016, spent all last season on the team’s practice squad.
SACK BY WOODYARD: Early in the second quarter, linebacker Wesley Woodyardrecorded his first sack of the preseason, taking down Bears quarterback Mike Glennonfor a nine-yard loss. Woodyard totaled four tackles and two tackles for loss in the game.
DEFENSIVE LINE STARTERS: For the third time in as many weeks, the Titans defensive line had a different group of starters. Against the Bears, DaQuan Jones received the nod at nose tackle, while Austin Johnson and Jurrell Casey started to his left and right side, respectively. Jones, who has been a starter at defensive end for each of the last two seasons, received the start after Antwaun Woods and Sylvester Williamsopened the first two preseason contests at nose tackle.
JACKSON GETS FIRST START: First-round pick Adoree’ Jackson started at cornerback for the first time during the preseason. The 18th-overall draft selection was credited with a team-high six tackles and added 10 yards on two punt returns and 23 yards on one kickoff return. LeShaun Sims started the first two preseason contests at cornerback opposite Logan Ryan.
KERN PINS THEM DEEP: Early in the first quarter, Brett Kern boomed a 55-yard punt from the Tennessee 41-yard line. The ball went out of bounds at the four-yard line to pin the Bears deep in their own territory. Later in the first quarter, his 61-yard punt landed nearly in the same spot, pinning the Bears at the six-yard line. Kern placed a total of four punts inside the 20.
SCRATCHES: Titans players out of action against the Bears included wide receiver Mekale McKay, defensive back Curtis Riley, long snapper Beau Brinkley, linebacker Aaron Wallace, wide receiver Harry Douglas, wide receiver Corey Davis and wide receiver Eric Decker.